Our 15th wedding anniversary would be on Tuesday 6th September 2016, so we decided to have a nice luxurious week somewhere romantic. After much searching online we decided on Ca’s Curial, an orange farm in Soller in the Serra de Tramuntana on the northern coast of Mallorca. It proved to be an excellent choice, and we decided to keep a diary of our holiday to complement the album Pat would together.
We had booked an easyJet flight out from Newcastle to Palma. The downside was the early take-off (6:00 in the morning), the upside was we had nearly a full day in Mallorca. We’d also hired a car, and had no trouble finding it at the airport. It turned out to be a nice little 5-door Skoda Citigo, perfect for the narrow roads on which we generally found ourselves.
The satnav we’d brought with us found our guesthouse easily enough, and there was our host Andres with glasses of fresh orange juice to welcome us. Our suite was delightful, on the ground floor with a small sheltered patio, a large living room, large upstairs bedroom and large bathroom, all beautifully appointed. The air conditioning proved to be efficient – and needed, given the mini heat-wave the island was experiencing. Andres also gave us a short tour of the farm.
As it was lunchtime we wandered into town, and Colin immediately ordered a pizza in one of the many cafes surrounding the main square. The photos we took will describe the town better than we can, but it was truly delightful. We particularly liked the tram that ran through the middle of the square, within touching distance of many of the cafe tables.
Then it was back to our rooms to cool down, finish unpacking and chill out until dinner time. Dinner we took at the first restaurant we met on the way into town, the Cafe Scholl. It seemed to be a normal local restaurant, but in fact the most common language we heard was English. This proved to be the case all over town. Soller caters for a large number of tourists of many nationalities, meaning English is in effect the lingua franca. It still, however, seems to retain its integrity as a local town for local people rather than being an obvious tourist centre. The perfect mix!
Finally, back at the farm, we were pleased to discover that out wide-screen TV had most of the main English channels. With Mallorca being an hour ahead of England we were able, over the week, to dine out and still catch the BBC news when we got home.
After our customary late breakfast we caught the tram down to Port de Soller. Geat fun. Once there, we started our tour of the port with leisurely ice cream sundaes. Then it was a stroll along the sea front, Pat looking at dresses (and buying a very cheap but cool one) and Colin looking at some of the sunbathers.
By the time we reached the other end of the harbour we were hot and tired, so we found a nice shady table and ordered up a litre of sangria – as you do. Thereafter all we could manage was a stroll back to the tram and back up the mountain to Soller
Once in town we stopped for some snacks, then headed home. We had hoped to go out for a posh anniversary dinner, but the nicest restaurants were booked up, so we booked one instead for Friday (our last day) and went back into town for a still quite acceptable anniversary dinner at Casa Alvaro.
One of the reasons for hiring a car was to get to Cap Formentor, the peninsular at the north-east end of Mallorca. So that’s what we did today. It was a very pretty drive through the mountains, but on the final road to the Cap we met a couple of hold-ups. We guessed they were caused by coaches meeting, then being unable to back up to pass each other because of the huge queues of cars behind them. There was also a long queue to park at the Cap, but the parking was efficiently organised and we were soon admiring the views.
The equally pretty but long drive back resulted in us chilling out at the hotel before heading into town for dinner. This proved to be a minor triumph for Colin. He’d been dying to try a genuine Spanish paella, but all the restaurants we’d been looking at in Port Soller required a minimum of two people sharing, and Colin didn’t fancy a veggie one. However, in the square in Soller we found several cafes serving single paellas, so that was Colin sorted. We shared another litre of Sangria!
In the morning we drove a little way along the coast to Deia, famous for being both pretty and the home of Robert Graves. We walked around the village, then had coffee in a local bar, and then strolled a bit more until we’d seen enough.
Back to Soller for lunch – tapas at another café. The cafe next door, Sa Granja, looked really nice, and seemed the most popular, so we booked a table there for dinner. It proved to be a good choice, and Colin had another paella!
Friends had recommended a visit to Port de Sa Calobra, but had warned that the road down to it was very narrow and twisty. They were right. Colin was in his element, but Pat declared that if he broke a limb and couldn’t drive back out, we would take the boat to Port Soller and Hertz could come and pick up their car!
Sa Colabra was delightful. A short walk along the sea front took us to a small cove bounded by huge cliffs. A tunnel through one of the cliffs took us to the cove’s tiny beach, behind which was a huge ravine. Quite unexpected and very pretty.
Having worked our way back up to the main road we had intended to drive as far as we could up Puig Major, the highest peak in Mallorca, but the road was closed due, we guessed, to what looked like a permanent military installation.
So it was back to Soller and, inevitably, tapas and a litre of Sangria (this time the upmarket version based on cava) at Sa Granja. As usual we escaped the heat of the afternoon at our hotel, then let the Zumo take us to the Nautilus in Port Soller for our last dinner of the holiday.
The main part of the restaurant at the Nautilus was a terrace right on the edge of a high, vertical cliff, with a lovely view across the bay. The sun was setting as we arrived, a spectacle which kept us enthralled while the hostess sorted out our reservation, which, it turned out, our hotelier had failed to make – at least at that place on that night! Luckily a couple with a reservation for a prime table had failed to turn up, so we took their place! The meal matched the surroundings, so all in all the perfect end to our stay.
Saturday was market day in Soller, so we had a good wander around and took lots of photographs.
Then we checked out of our hotel and drove to Palma. We parked up underground close to the cathedral and then spent a couple of hours wandering around the city. We stopped for some tapas in the main square. They were a little disappointing, partly because we were slow to twig that much of the choice was a question of picking from the trays the waiters brought round.
We nearly got soaked by a couple of heavy thunderous showers, and were unable to look round the cathedral as it was closed for a wedding.
Returning the rental car at the airport was straightforward, finding something to eat less so due mainly to very poor signposting. The flight was delayed for an hour by a bird-strike (full marks to easyJet for keeping us informed via their Android app!), but we duly arrived home safely.
You’ll find a gallery with more of the photos we took, including full-size copies, here.
North-west Mallorca had proved to be delightful, and our accommodation worth the hefty price-tag. We’d had the perfect 15th wedding anniversary. Let’s hope we can match it for our 25th!